Continuing from where we left off last time,
Before you decide if you are undercharging, be totally honest with yourself and appraise your work; is it really good quality?
Here comes the cold hard facts bit. A lot of people make handmade things, kids in school make them but you wouldn't pay for them would you?
Just because it has the name handmade on it, does not mean it is better, or more durable than a mass produced item. If you are selling it under that label then make sure it really is of fantastic quality, that it's unique.
You have to back up every claim you make or you are going to end up with not only a lot of returns, but a ruined name and reputation that you will likely never recover from.
So know your product, understand your field inside out so that your prospective customers can see that you do. Have a wealth of knowledge so than when you are in discussion with them, they feel fully confident in your ability to provide the service you claim you can. This is also a good tactic for selling at a better price; knowledge and being able to back that up with your product; use them and abuse them, but only if you have them!
If you don't have them? Then know your limitations, and only offer and discuss what you know you can do, and not guess at what you can do. Be honest if they ask for something you aren't sure of, tell them and discuss alternatives, or their willingness to let you try that out. Sometimes they feel more a part of the process because they feel they are helping you learn something, this can sometimes work in your favour too, but only if you have been honest enough to let them know.
So basically, know what you're talking about, be honest, be upfront with your client, but most of all, be excellent at what you know you can do!
So. Now you have appraised your work, hopefully in an honest way from a buyers perspective; what do you do if you decide that you are still undercharging on that item?
Of course you prospective customer isn't going to offer you more for that underpriced item they are all busy snatching up while the going is good; they only want to pay what you are asking cause the price is too good to be true. So change that price now! Don't undervalue yourself or more importantly, your work.
If they whinge and moan after you increase your price, tell them it was an introductory offer, or you were testing out a new line of products at an almost cost price; tell them anything. Then just ignore all that objection to it and gently point out the amount of work involved.
No need for all the details, just enough that they begin to understand that your handmade item took hours as opposed to the minutes for those that are mass produced. Make sure to point out the benefits they gain whilst using one of your products.
First and most importantly appeal to their vanity, make them aware that they are wearing/using something completely individual, that it's a talking point when they walk in a room; and that no one else has one like it.
Remind them that it smells so good and feels wonderful to handle, that it will age to look and feel even better than it did new, and lastly that it helped support a local company, and that they were buying *insert your country here* product, and so supporting the economy.
Hopefully they might get the idea, and so then understand how it is worth it for them to buy your product; that it's value is more than the money they are spending to have that individual piece.
If not just leave them be, they are obviously no longer a buyer no matter what you say; so just thank them for their previous business and move along.
I am no expert on business methods or techniques by any means, but I hope some of this helped a little. It's not intended as a guide for plotting a business, it's just my observations and experiences.
Until next blog!
Take Care :)